Dental implants act as an anchor for replacement teeth and offer benefits such as durability and comfort. If you've experienced tooth loss due to decay, injury, or disease, you may be a candidate for dental implants. Your dentist will assess whether you have enough bone for this procedure. If you don't, there are options available to correct bone deficiency. Only your dentist can determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants. If your dentist has told you that this is an option for you, here's what you can expect.
Dental implant surgery is typically performed in stages, so be prepared to make multiple visit to your dentist to have the procedure completed. Your dentist will first determine whether you have enough bone to support the implant. This is crucial because the force of chewing places significant pressure on your jawbone, so you must have enough bone to create a solid base for the implant. If you lack enough bone, you may require bone grafting before the dental implant can be inserted. Typically a piece of bone is removed from another part of your body, such as your hip, and transplanted to your jawbone. It may take several months for your jawbone to heal before you can move forward with having the dental implant inserted.
Inserting The Implant
Once your jawbone is healed, or if you didn't require bone grafting, your oral surgeon will place the implant into the jawbone beneath your gums. The implant will remain there to heal, which can take about three to six months. It's normal to have some gum swelling in the area where your implant is placed. Medication can be used to help manage any pain, or discomfort. After about five days, the swelling should be significantly better and the pain lessened.
Some implant types require abutments, which are extension posts attached to the dental implant. If you require abutments, your dentist will insert metal posts to serve as the tooth roots. It's common to have protective caps placed onto the abutments. However, you may have the option to receive a temporary denture to improve the aesthetics while you wait for your new teeth. After the abutments are placed, your dentist can make models of your jaw and remaining teeth to fabricate your new teeth from. During the first year, you can expect to have regular check-ups at three-month intervals.
For more information on dental implants, contact a dental office like Milner Dentistry.